Trade Crossings - A new random map script for the AOE3 demo - by RF_Gandalf
***NOTE - revised now to allow all Native American civs trading posts to be built.
Trade Crossings is a new, fairly wide open green map designed for 2 players for the demo. (I cannot promise that 3 or more players will work, but they should be placed in a line across the map if there are 2 teams).
The map features randomly varied player start positions (unlike New England), and has two trade routes which cross in the center (instead of parallel routes like New England) each with 2 trading posts. This feature makes it a little harder to control a whole trade route (or at least it would if the AI tried as hard as a human would for control or the route) as one of the trading posts on each route is always closer to the other player. There is some randomness to the appearance of the trade routes and the placement of the trading posts for variety, but each route always has a 'radial symmetry' so that the trading posts on each route are always equidistant from the center and so the closest one on a route to each player is always the same distance away as it is for the other player.
There are also two equidistant Native villages on each map, and these both randomly will be Iroquois, Cherokee or Commanche (I know the setting looks more Eastern than the Great Plains of the Commanche, but 'gameplay > realism').
Each player has a deer herd in view at the start, with several more available on the map. Each player has at least 2 sheep in view, with several more on the map. Each player has a close silver mine and another just out of the initial view, with 2 more per player on the map (after that it is all trade or plantations). Forest, 'treasures' and small cliffs are placed randomly about the map.
I think this is a very fair, balanced map and expect to do a similar version for the game once the full version is released.
The most fun feature of the map cannot be seen until you get to at least the third age and have both trade routes upgraded to the "Iron Horse". Go view the center of the map and watch two trains intersect each other without damage!
To use this map (titled New England), first go to the RM folder of your game directory, and rename the new england.xs file to new england-original.xs. Then unzip this trade crossings.xs file to your RM directory, and rename it "new england.xs". The next time you play, pick New England map and instead you will get to play this one - just ignore the description. Switch files back to get the original New England map again. Eventually when the full game is released we will not need to do this to get a random map installed!